What Does a Whisk Do?


What does a whisk do?


A whisk is used for whisking and whisking adds air into the substance being whisked. Or, better stated, a whisk incorporates air into liquid substances. Use a whisk, or add a whisk attachment to a mixer, to add air into and thus “grow” the food at hand.

Liquid heavy cream becomes whipped cream after tangling with a whisk. Egg whites, after heavy whisking will incorporate so much air that they gain volume and transform into a beautiful meringue that can be used or moulded in many different ways. A whisk also comes in very handy to mix together substances that otherwise resist being mixed together, such as oil and vinegar.

what is a whisk

What Does a Whisk Do?

Whisk: A Handy Kitchen Tool

A whisk is the proper tool to use to whip egg whites into foam, whip cream into whipped cream, emulsify hard to combine liquids, and smooth a gravy – just to name a few things a whisk can do!

To get the most potential out of a hand whisk, here are a few guidelines:

  • Hold the handle gently between your forefinger and thumb and allow your wrist to move slightly, right along with the whisk.

  • Always start with a clean and dry bowl, preferably glass or ceramic.

  • For beating egg whites:
    Hold the bowl at an angle to pool all the liquids into just one side of the bowl.
    Move the whisk quickly in small circles while lifting slightly whenever reaching the top of the circle.
    This method is best for beating egg whites as they will stiffen quicker than the following whisking method.

  • For whisking all other ingredients:
    When working with all other ingredients, such as trying to emulsify oil and vinegar together in order to produce a vinaigrette, the best way to move the whisk is in a side to side motion. The force of pushing the ingredients in opposite directions against each other forces them to bond together better and thus remain together longer.
  • For more on the food science behind why this side to side shear force is a quicker and longer lasting way to whisk most everything besides eggs whites, watch this short and informative youtube video.

    Types of Whisks

    Not all whisks are created equal, there are actually several different types of whisks.

    what is a whisk
  • Balloon Whisk – this is the most common multi-purpose whip around as it incorporates maximum air into the mixture, and is the one featured in this article.
  • what is a whisk
  • French Whisk– this is the all-purpose whip, straight and narrow is usually an efficient way to get a job done.
  • what is a whisk
  • Flat Whisk – this whisk is good for shallow pans. Use it when making a gravy or a roux for a little more control. This whisk also works well for lifting and separating eggs.
  • what is a whisk
  • Spring Whisk – this one will bounce up and down when pressed. The shape can lend itself to reaching the sides of pans when used while making a gravy or roux.
  • what is a whisk
  • Ball Whisk – this one is a little easier to clean than the others and can also reach items that may try to stick to the sides of the pan.
  • what is a whisk
  • Coil Whisk – can often fit into containers better, so is most often used for making cocktails and then straining the drink when complete.
  • What Does a Whisk Do

    Additional Info

    What about other tools that often come with a mixer?

    Use the dough hook to easily replicate the process of kneading by hand. The hook forces the dough up the wand and then forces it back down. This process helps develop gluten in bread dough.

    Use the paddle for denser mixes, such as cookie dough.
    It can push the batter around while scraping the sides of the bowl. Dense batters would get caught in the spokes of a whisk and cause the spokes to pop out and break when overloaded with the extra weight and pressure.

    To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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